By Dave Pehling
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — One of Northern California’s preeminent purveyors of unhinged garage rock, Sacramento band Th’ Losin Streaks come back to San Francisco to headline the Knockout Friday night.
Founded in the state’s capitol in the early 2000s, Th’ Losin Streaks’ story began when Sacramento garage mainstays Tim Foster (guitar/vocals) and Stan Tindel (bass) of like-minded veteran band The Trouble Makers teamed up with drummer Matt Shrugg (ex-Groovie Ghoulies and Zodiac Killers) and guitar virtuoso Mike Farrell, who had made his name in area bands Daisy Spot, Sex 66 and Persephone’s Bees (who he played bass for). The group quickly established a reputation with their frenetic stage show at venues around Sacramento.
The quartet brought a snarling swagger to their raucous 2004 debut album for Slovenly Recordings, Sounds of Violence. Even when addressing well-worn subject matter like two-fisted romance (“Beg, Steal or Borrow” and “Your Love, Now”), the group managed to keep things fresh with razor-sharp hooks, Foster’s gruff, authoritative vocals and the collective’s fiery delivery.
With Farrell dealing out one searing, sustain-driven lead after another with the same wild abandon that Jeff Beck brought to the classic rave-ups of the Yardbirds, the album solidified Th’ Losin Streaks as NorCal garage-rock contenders of the highest order. The group followed up with a 7-inch single for Dollar Records Records the next year, but outside of live performances that included an extensive tour of Europe in 2005, it would be years before the band would finally issue it’s sophomore effort.
While Th’ Losin Streaks continued to draw sizable crowds and put on blistering live performances, Farrell’s recurring struggles with heroin addiction that had started back in the ’90s would derail the band, leading the group to dissolve in 2010. Farrell battled his demons for years, moving in and out of rehab before finally getting clean for good in 2016.
The quartet reconvened and began playing shows again, making scorching appearances at the Burger Boogaloo in 2017 and Debauch-A-Reno the following year in addition to returning to clubs in Sacramento and the Bay Area. The band also finished work on the band’s long neglected second effort This Band Will Self-Destruct in T-Minus, which finally saw release on Slovenly last year.
Recorded with noted garage-rock studio guru Chris Woodhouse (Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall), the group’s first release in 14 years is packed with ferocious anthems like “Trouble You Find,” the propulsive title track as well as Who/Yardbirds-inspired fuzz of “Time Has Come” and “Order of the Day.” While Th’ Losin Streaks had to cope with the departure of longtime drummer Shrugg earlier this year, after some searching (Woodhouse sat in on one show and was considered as a permanent replacement), the band eventually brought powerhouse drummer Brian Machado (Go National, The Decibels, The Trouble Makers) into the fold. Last month, the group supported British garage legend Billy Childish when he made a rare Bay Area appearance for a Burger Boogaloo afterparty at the Starline Social Club in Oakland.
For this Depth Charge Presents show at the Knockout in San Francisco Friday night, Th’ Losin Streaks will be joined by local favorites and Slovenly Recordings labelmates the Okmoniks, swampy Oakland garage-rock crew Whateverglades and ripping East Bay rockers Genuine Parts.
Th’ Losin Streaks
Friday, Aug. 30, 9 p.m. $10